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Chinese Monks Follow Xuanzang's Steps to Nalanda

Two Chinese monks will be visiting Nalanda, seat of Buddhist teachings, in November to revive the traditional Sino-Indian cultural ties, the Nav Nalanda Mahavihar director Dr Ravindra Pant told Xinhua Thursday.

Nalanda, known for its rich cultural past, is located some 60 kilometer from Bodh Gaya in north Indian state of Bihar, where Lord Buddh attained enlightenment.

The two Chinese Buddhists from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, Mingxian and Huizai respectively, are expected to reach Nalanda by November 20. They began their journey about three months ago and are taking the Silk Road that Xuanzang (602-664), a noted Chinese traveler and monk, used in the seventh century to reach Nalanda to study Buddhist philosophy.

Xuanzang is said to have visited India during 630-645 and saw the glory of Nalanda University teaching at that time and stayed there for doing research in theology, philosophy and religion.

A senior researcher of the Archaeological Survey of India said Indian archaeology owed a lot to Xuanzang since he took pains to write down the distance of Buddhist monuments in his book.

Buddha is recorded to have entered Bihar through Rampurva in West Champaran district bordering Nepal, having Ashokan pillars.

Xuanzang's travelogue described a place with a stupa over Buddha ashes near Anoma river that is called Hargora river today.

The visit to this place by the Beijing travelers will give a boost to the Sino-Indian cultural ties, said the Pant.

The year 2006 was claimed by India and China as the Sino-Indian Friendship Year.

(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2006)

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